Monday, October 10, 2011

@OpWallStreet has no clear set of demands?

 

Many, especially mainstream media, are puzzled and not very interested in finding out the true nature of the Occupy Wall Street protests going on. Note this story’s headline: The Occupy Wall Street Movement Needs a Clear Set of Demands (Oct.7, 2011) Politics News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

But does the protest really need a clear set of demands? From what I can understand Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for American Revolution is about anger and frustration over the unfairness that the economic upheaval has wrought. Those who did not cause this world-wide economic collapse are paying with their health benefits, pensions, jobs, and their homes. We are a country that thrives on details, exact details that we can measure and quantify. This reduces complicated issues, like our environment and economics, to an equation we believe can evaluate.

But, sometimes that doesn’t work. Sometimes, like with our environment, we just don’t have enough facts and we have to make decisions long before all the information arrives. Climate Change cannot at this point be proven to be the cause of any particular extreme weather event. But that doesn’t mean that the warming of our atmosphere with manmade greenhouse gases isn’t a likely suspect in each case. (I challenge the deniers to prove that we haven’t caused our climate to change.) A prudent species, bent on survival and aware of the monumental changes that come would Climate Change, would not be quibbling over ever little detail at this point—they’d be doing the best to stop any chance of Climate Change happening. But that isn’t happening. Because Climate Change is still perceived as doubtful, we don’t act. It’s not in a lot of folks’ agenda to have an environmental collapse.

Because the press cannot understand this statement “The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” they characterize the protests as crazy and pointless. They don’t get it. If they got it, they’d have to question why so many are so miserable when so few are doing so well. They’d have to change their way of reporting on mass uprisings and actually go to them and find out—like they did when other countries were rising up in anger and frustration.

But we are living in an era where the media is a part of the very institutions that are sucking the life-blood from our environment and our citizens. Our minds have indeed become for rent for every ideology and government. You aren’t going to get it if you are still listening to the same media that lied us into a war with Iraq and presents GOP attempts to gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as reasonable fodder for a reasonable people.

The real news of today is elsewhere. It doesn’t exist in any one place on the radio, television, print, website, or TV. The real news is out there and it’s messy like a democracy that often doesn’t, at any one point, have clear goals and a set of clear demands. Maybe that’s because the wrong decisions have already been made, like bailing out the banks and not the public, and so the best solutions—going back in time and changing the decisions—are not available.

For a more rounded view of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is about try these two sources: http://www.democracynow.org/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/occupy-wall-street . But even these won’t capture it all. You got to keep looking, thinking, and acting at the right time.

Imagine how hard it must have been for the average citizen, especially if they lived far from an urban setting, to get a sense in the early 1770’s of what the Sons of Liberty were about. There were newspapers, but mostly folks went to churches and other gathering places to get the news. What was one to make of Americans getting angry at Britain at that time, however badly the Brits were acting towards their American children? One might as well have angered themselves against the weather, a seemingly fruitless position against such an implacable parent.

At Occupy Wall Street doctors and nurses and students and environmentalists and the homeless and the jobless, the sick and those without a future are really angry about how unjust things have become in what once was a Democracy but is increasing looking like a Plutocracy. The media, which has become a spokesman for the few and the powerful, is reacting with annoyance and haughtiness. Things are messy. If you don’t want to be left out of your future, you might want to chase this news item down by veering far from mainstream media that seems to be doing all they can to forgetaboutit.

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